Thursday, June 01, 2006Quest for Femininity
I heard a friend say "I've been wearing more skirts lately." -She is one of those girls who has had her share of the world- what I mean is that she was a skateboarder, surfer, musician and hip chick who has done everything cool, and now is a glowing mother and wife wearing skirts. Whenever I see a woman in a skirt below the knee it seems to speak to me that they know who they are. -I think the right word is dignity. I grew up wearing skirts on Sunday mornings, but as soon as I got home I would rip my skirt off and immediately pull on my old torn up jeans. I couldn't stand being that uncomfortable, not to mention having to sit like a lady. I'm still kind of like that and I marvel at these women who are not afraid to be feminine- and still get down right dirty from mothering.
The first few years after college I tried to tell myself: "Grow up. You're not a college kid anymore. You are a wife and a mother". And now I find myself saying: "Grow up. You're not even post-college anymore! You are a wife and mother and need to start acting like, looking like, resembling, a lady."
I somehow now weirdly relate to that old guy that would come up to you in high school and tell you about his days on the soccer field...the team, the glory...his eyes would get all starry and yours would just roll back in your head as you tried not to laugh or shout: "You, play soccer? Ha! I'd like to see you try!" What I am trying to say here is that I don't know that I'll ever feel grown up. Just like that man, feeling like "it was only yesterday", I think many of us become adults before we realize it. Someone told me recently that you reach a certain point in raising your children when you say to yourself, "It's time to become 'that family'". -"That family" being the family that you've always admired- you know the kind! The family that prays the nightly rosary and has an organized home...the family in all of our lives that we really look up to and hold as an example. For me that point didn't come when I had one child (where I felt like I was just pretending or playing house), or even when I had two children...but now with the third I am finally getting there. I guess you get to the point where if you don't start becoming that family now, then when? I can no longer pretend that I am this post-college girl with "oh, here's another thing interesting about me-I have a baby!", but no: "I am a mother. That is who and what I am."
And so with becoming "that family" I now find myself trying to become "that woman". C.S. Lewis says something about how if you want to be happy, then pretend to be happy and then you may in fact really become so. In turn, I think that if I pretend to be "that woman", maybe I have more of a chance of being her: the one that is full of strength, dignity, femininity, and the heart of "that family". -And when I picture her in my mind, she is wearing a skirt.
~Hope writes from Fillmore, CA